#1000Miles: Getting Back On The Horse
By Jennifer Gulbrandsen on May 05, 2014
"Not my name anymore, Coach."
"You're always going to be 'Sale who runs like she wants to be a pretty fat-girl' no matter what you're calling yourself. Sale, I haven't seen you at a single track workout in April."
I told him I had quit running and ran off my long list of justifiable excuses.
"You're a damn coward, Sale."
A coward? Did this man just HEAR me? I'm just trying to make my life work, and he's calling me a coward because I didn't go to his stupid track workouts? Have a seat COACH, I'm about to ream you a new asshole.
So I did. And he listened. "There she is. There's that pissed off fat girl. Come to a track workout and get even more pissed. I have never met someone so scared to death of being good at something in my whole life. Put yourself first and get your fat ass (It's a term of endearment, I swear. He says I can be a good runner but I insist on running 'like a fat girl' because I wear running skirts and headphones, and don't follow a training plan. Runners are jerks.) on the road."
I still didn't go to the track workout. I freaking hate those, and being agreeable isn't exactly my nature. But I did go re-up at the gym, grabbed a yoga sculpt class on my lunch hour, and then ran a couple of miles later that night. Slow miles. Easy miles. No pressure.
Later on that night, I got a text from another running friend. "How's the running going?" and details of her marathon this weekend.
How's the running going? Well I ran.
I ran and I have a lot of friends who care if I run.
Listen to the universe, Jenn. It's telling you something. Nobody's letting you fall off the face of the earth this time.
Today, I went for a 3 mile run. I intentionally forgot my watch and just ran. I have no idea how fast or slow I was going, but the miles went by really fast, and I felt good afterward. Really good. I thought of this blog post while I was out there, I thought about that last nationals, which is a memory I can barely speak about, much less think about.
I had asked for a moment then.
I'm demanding one now.
Retreating isn't an option. You can't turn your back on something that saved you. A year ago we were living in a hotel after losing everything in the flood, and I forced myself to get up and go out every morning at 6:30 because my family needed me and my sanity.
This is no different. My family still needs me and my sanity. I'm also on an Egg McMuffin kick that isn't going to burn itself off. I can't end this story with being insane and fat. The story I'm avoiding and trying to change ends that way. I am not sending the message that I retreated. The fire in the belly is there. I just need to light it again, is all...while being a lot kinder to myself in the process. Yes, I will probably run a little slower. So. What. It doesn't matter. It will be temporary. The legs will come back.
I have no idea where my mileage is, how far I am from 1,000 miles, and I guess it's a good thing, because it would only make me feel like a failure to know I'm so far away from my goal. How much I've backslid. How much ground I've lost.
The miles don't matter. It's the journey. I'm back on the horse. I will race again.
My fight is back. I'm running the Downer's Grove 5 Miler a week before my birthday as my 'comeback' race. I promised I would be Elizabeth's legs in my first race of the year, and while it's going to be 6 months late, I'm going to keep that promise.
In the words of my father, "It's only just a road..."
Thank you, universe.
Your source for randomness fueled by wine...lots and lots of wine.
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